As an Oscar winner poised to write, direct, and star in his own superhero movie, Ben Affleck could have done some amazing things with The Batman, but the star ended up locking the cowl away after two feature films (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League) and a cameo role (Suicide Squad).
Fans have come up with plenty of reasons as to why he ultimately abandoned the role, which ranged from the harsh reception of Zack Snyder’s films to the pressure of delivering a high-budget blockbuster, but the actor was never really upfront about it – that is, until now.
In a candid profile with The New York Times, Affleck suggested that continuing as Batman would have drove him into a deep stage of alcoholism.
“I showed somebody ‘The Batman’ script,” he revealed. “They said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went through again.’”
Drinking is a personal demon that Affleck has been fighting for years. The actor has blamed the addiction for the biggest failures in his life, which includes his separation with actress Jennifer Garner.
“I drank relatively normally for a long time. What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems,” explained the actor.
Affleck didn’t have any more to say about The Batman, but it’s clear that the drama behind 2017’s Justice League had something to do with his departure. The New York Times reported that the failed team-up film had “sapped his interest,” which wouldn’t be surprising to anyone who followed its development and behind-the-scenes drama.
After Zack Snyder left the film due to a personal loss, Warner Bros. gave the movie to Joss Whedon, who ended up creating something very different from the cast’s original vision. Many scenes were re-shot in an attempt to make things more comedic, Marvel-style, but the movie just ended up being a tonal mess.
One of the most embarrassing scenes belonged to Affleck, who was forced to lie on the grass as Batman and utter “something’s definitely bleeding” as a “funny” throwback to his line from Dawn of Justice. It’s no surprise that the actor wanted to bail after that.
The Batman is now in the hands of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson, who has taken the mantle of the Bat. It’s unfortunate that we’ll never find out how Affleck’s version would have turned out.